John Hartson reveals surprise reason behind Moussa Dembele’s £19.7 million move to Lyon from Celtic last summer.
Moussa Dembele was a huge hit at Celtic Park during the two seasons that he spent there, scoring 51 times in just 94 appearances for the Hoops. His record is even more remarkable considering the fact that he was just a teenager when he joined the club. After scoring 32 goals in his debut campaign, he was linked with the likes of Chelsea but ultimately ended up joining French Ligue 1 side, Lyon.
It must be said though that Celtic have not felt the absence of the Frenchman due to the presence of another one in their team in the form of Odsonne Edouard. Since joining the club from PSG, the forward has scored 47 goals in 105 appearances and is arguably the best player in Scotland today. At just 21 years of age, he will only get better with time.
And it is precisely because of this reason that John Hartson believes that Edouard was a major factor in Celtic deciding to sell Dembele to Lyon when they did. The presence of the younger Edouard made it possible for the club to let a player of Dembele’s caliber go without facing any long-term repercussions.
Speaking with The Scottish Sun, Hartson said:
“Edouard is younger and a France Under-21 player. He’s got the world at his feet. He will keep improving. I think he’s on a long-term contract so Celtic won’t be too worried. The offers will come in and then it’s up to the club.
“One of the reasons Dembele moved on was because they had Odsonne Edouard waiting in the wings. He’s certainly in the same bracket as Dembele if Celtic consider selling him.
“Edouard’s got the world at his feet and he’ll get better and better. He wouldn’t go cheap, that’s for sure.”
If Celtic did indeed let go of Dembele hoping that Edouard would fill his shoes, then it was certainly a huge risk at the time. Dembele was one of the hottest prospects in Europe at the time and it is hard not to feel that the club ended up selling him way below his market value. While Edouard had scored just 11 goals in his debut campaign for the Hoops, solid but not spectacular by any means.
Ultimately though, the gamble has paid off as the team are currently flying with Edouard leading the line. And these days, we all just wanna be Edouard!